Homemade cordial calls back to my childhood, and mom made the best. Dad would come back with boxes full of oranges, which he would have picked up from the local growers, and mom, knowing that there was no way we would get through them, would start the “mooneh”. The word mooneh translates to “supplies”, but is most usually used to indicate the larder, or the winter store with pickles, jams and of course cordials. My brother Fady was a big fan of mom’s thirst quenching cordial, of which she kept several bottles in the kitchen pantry. I remember walking into the kitchen and seeing Fady pull out a bottle from the pantry, pour some in a glass, and add some water straight from the tap, and in his haste, he downed it all without stirring. Before I could say anything, Fady spat out the lot. Those of you who know Fady, know he is a bit like Emile, the gluttonous brother from Ratatouille. Fady had taken a bottle of our own cold pressed, unfiltered olive oil and downed the contents. I have not let him forget that story.
This weekend we went for an Easter visit to Lainy’s parents, who own a fantastic plot of land in Picton, NSW. I’ve tried to grow some vegetable there before, but our visits were not frequent enough, and the land itself needed some serious work, so the yield was low. There are, however, some old fruitful trees that are in desperate need of being taken care of. One of which is a loquat tree (my favourite) which self seeded in the same month I met Lainy, and we take that as a “sign”. Another one is a sorry looking orange tree, around a meter and a half tall, but with fantastic yield. My in-laws are not big fans of this tree, and I have difficulty convincing them that the oranges should be eaten, rather than let go to waste. So I picked some oranges and brought them home with me. I also picked some of the orange blossoms in order to infuse them in my cordial.
So once I got home, I cordially recruited Ludwig’s help (as he had made the last batch of lime cordial). The recipe could not be any simpler than this:
4 cups of orange juice
8 cups of boiling water
10 orange blossoms
1.5 kg of sugar (yep!)
1 tsp citric acid (from the supermarket)
The rind of 3 lemons
Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water, infuse the lemon rind and the orange blossoms for 10 minutes. Add the orange juice and citric acid and stir, making sure all the sugar has dissolved. It’s now ready to go, so add some water as desired, and plenty of ice! And it tastes so good, especially with the orange blossoms having infused in there. Very Lebanese!